. welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. japanese prime minister shinzo abe lays out his government's new policy package aimed at revitalizing the economy. the president of the philippines is throwing his support behind abe ace plan to broaden japan's security role in asia. a first-hand look at some pretty realistic looking
humanoid robots in tokyo. members of japanese prime minister shinzo abe's government have approved his strategy for growth. cabinet ministers have also backed abe's policies for economic and fiscal reforms. abe met with reporters shortly after the ministers gave him their approval. >> translator: the momentum of the economic recovery has not yet spread throughout japan. we have to ensure that the favorable economic cycle we're seeing this year isn't just temporary. we'll reinforce this favorable cycle to revitalize small and medium-sized enterprises across the country. we'll make sure everyone realizes the effects of the economic recovery. that's the mission of abenomics. >> one of the main items in the fiscal and economic reform
package is a reduction in japan's corporate tax rate. business leaders have called for the change. supporters say lowering the tax will attract more overseas investment. they say it will also help japanese companies compete internationally. the reduction would take effect in april of next year and would cut the tax rate from 35% to below 30% over several years. the prime minister is also calling for more support for people raising children. the policies are aimed at stabilizing japan's population. abe's growth strategy features legislation to revamp the way people work. it calls for the introduction of performance-based wages for certain workers. they're people with specialized skills who earn about $100,000 a year or more. a proposal for the medical services sector would allow patients to combine treatments covered by public insurance with those that aren't. japanese leaders also want to shake up farming.
their strategy calls for the reform of nationwide agricultural cooperatives that want to give local cooperatives more say over how things are run. our senior political commentator masao nakajima joins us earlier in the studio. japan's corporate tax rate is about 35%, the second highest among developed nations. the abe administration promised to lower the rate to below 30%. abe believes that a tax cut will make japan more competitive and more attractive for foreign investors. japanese business leaders have long been calling for a corporate tax cut to put japan on an equal footing with its international rivals. but questions remain about where the government intends to find alternative sources of revenue.
some lawmakers argue that the government needs to compensate for the job in tax revenue. they believe that restoring the nation's fiscal health is also important. japan's rapidly shrinking population is likely to reduce the size of the economy. realizing this impact is another big goal of the abe administration. steps are needed to security enough workers to keep the economy going. abe's thinking about inviting more foreign workers. but a drastic easing of japan's basic immigration policies does not look like his major option yet. rather, abe promised to consider bold measures to tackle the birth rate problem. these include financial assistance for third born and subsequent children. but experts say that that kind
of measures are not good enough. for example, working mothers have a hard time finding child care in japan. high housing and education costs make it harder for parents to plan for a big family. japan's long recession also decreased the average household income. many young people now do not marry because of low incomes and unstable employment. wages, working hours and employment systems need to be revised to make it easier for mothers to work and have more children. abe's goal is to make japan's agriculture sector more competitive. his administration wants to allow local farming cooperatives to operate more freely. they now have to take advice from a central organization. abe wants to overhaul that system by reviving the leading corporate union. and abe says the free trade deal currently being negotiated as the transpacific partnership is a key to making japan's
agricultural sector more competitive. but tpp member countries such as the u.s. have demanded that japan open its markets wider for their dairy products, for example. abe recognizes the agriculture sector needs reform. but he must also protect local farmers. the free trade negotiations itself still has a bumpy road ahead. you know, those are just a few of the points and problems in abe's new growth strategy. philippine president benigno aquino is visiting japan. he met with shinzo abe. they discussed strengthening japan's security role. we report. >> reporter: aquino and abe have
held face to face talks four times this year. they met at the prime minister's residence. they vowed to deepen their economic and security partnerships. >> prime minister abe and i likewise share the view that prosperity development cannot exist in a vacuum. atd visz it can only be fully realized in a context that fosters stability. >> translator: we are working closer together. >> reporter: these photos show chinese workers moving sound on to a reef. officials say chinese crews are doing the same thing on four other reefs in the spratly islands. they estimate that crews have reclaimed at least 90,000 square meters of shoals and they say china's military will likely use the area for runways and radar systems.
both nations are locked in a territorial dispute over the islands. aquino has sharp criticism for leaders in beijing. >> indisputable fact of their sovereignty. >> the point is it is disputed and we are questioning, so we need a resolution. >> translator: government officials in vietnam are adding their concern. they say video shot earlier this week shows a boat from china ramming one from vietnam. vessels from both nations have been squaring off near the islands for weeks now. leaders in hanoi oppose a chinese oil rig being set up in the region. japanese ships have also been involved in confrontations with chinese vessels in the east china sea.
at tuesday's summit meeting, aquino expressed hope that japan will play a greater role in the region including securing issues. abe reiterates that he along with his counterpart cannot tolerate any attempt to change the status quo by force. nhk world, tokyo. >> philippine president aquino has asked for helped to reconstruct mindanao island. the site of asia's longest running armed conflict. cholaphansa narula has the latest. president aquino gave a speech on tuesday in hiroshima in western japan at a meeting between the philippine government and the country's largest muslim separatist group. japan helped foster a peace agreement in march. the deal cass hailed as a step to what's ending four decades of conflict.
>> i cannot overemphasize just how much japan has contributed in nurturing hope that will enable all of us to look for a hope of future of meaningful opportunities. >> three years ago, talks led to a peace deal. the sacred talks began the process that led to the peace deal. president aquino used his speech to ask for japan's continued support ahead of elections to establish an autonomous government in south and central mindanao by 2016. they struggle against the majority of the catholic country in the 1970s. more than 60,000 were killed. the peace deal calls for autonomy, the disarmament of militants and sharing of income from natural resources. >> earthquakes, floods and typhoons devastating natural disasters affect the asia region more frequently than any other part of the world. how to prepare for such
calamities is being discussed at an international conference currently underway in thailand. the conference began tuesday. government officials and delegates from more than 60 countries and territories are attending. they are including discussions how to allocate public resources. and thou involve the private sector in disaster reduction. one of strongest typhoons on record hit the philippines last november, leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing. several million people are still unable to return home. the asia pacific is becoming an every more important region for the global economy. it's especially vulnerable to earthquakes, typhoons and other natural disasters. five young japanese from areas devastated by the disaster in 2011 attended a youth forum at the conference on tuesday and then made a presentation alongside others from thailand and indonesia. >> translator: from my own
experience, i know from the bottom of my heart how important anti-des asster measures are. i want to call out to people across the world to take precautions against natural disasters. >> reporter: the presenters stressed the need to educate young people to be prepared and to support children affected by natural disasters. >> people across asia have grown rice for centuries but in war torn countries like afghanistan, cultivation has slumped. in an effort to revive rice growing, they have introduced new methods to the afghan people. we report. >> reporter: the landscape could be somewhere in southeast asia, but this vast expanse of rice paddies lies in northern iran. officials from the afghan government have come here. they want to acquire knowledge about rice planting.
their mission is to contribute to their country's agriculture. they are learning farming. the program is learned by the japan international corporation agency or jica. rice used to be a staple of the afghan diet. it was second in importance to wheat, but after many years of conflict, good farmland has been destroyed, so the country has to import some of its rice. jica went inside afghanistan about seven years ago. it began teaching farmers a more profitable way to grow rice. back then, the taliban renewed its offenses.
the situation worsened. last october, jica gave up its domestic afghan teaching program. the jica shifted to iran. they are stable and share similarity with afghanistan, including climate, culture and language. another reason they had many rice growers. they were also trained by jica. they are ready to help teach the afghan farmers. >> translator: we can be grateful that japan's relations with afghanistan and iran have helped so much with this training program. >> reporter: one member of the program, a government employee of the agriculture office in
western afghanistan. his training covers the throwing of seed rice and conditioning of soil. farmers adapting can expect to double or triple their rice production. he has left his five children at home to come and train in iran. he says he hopes the technique he learns will help bring prosperity to his country and a more peaceful life to his family. >> translator: i hope afghanistan will move toward a better future rather than step backward. if our country develops, we will be more proud of it and that will lead to better security.
>> reporter: people of the three countries work in the rice growing program. nhk world, iran. >> that wraps up our bulletin. i'm cholaphansa narula in bangkok. sunni militants have captured more territory in iraq. they are trying to seize the country ace biggest oil refinery. insurgents have taken control of towns including keim in western areas near the border with syria. government forces are stepping up aerial attacks. they repeatedly try to get in and take control. some report they have succeeded. a military commander said, government troops are fending them off. he said the refinery will be operating normally again in a
few days. u.s. secretary of state, john kerry has been talking about the leader. he urged him to overcome sectarian and ethnic division and help build an inclusive government. he met with prime minister, nuri al maliki in baghdad, the previous day. a japanese robot invent tore is letting the public have a first-hand look at some of his technology. japan is a world leader when it comes to android development. he is showing people his latest humanoid creations. mickey yamamoto checked it out for us. >> reporter: hey, come on over here. the dozens of news cameras are here for the hottest ladies in the town. the elegant lady on the right
and a charming girl sitting next to her. they are not people. they are robots. it is hard to tell, because their facial expressions are so real. the androids are just some of many robots on display at the national museum of emerging science and innovation in tokyo. u.s. president, barack obama, asked to come here when he visited japan in april. >> hey, good job. >> reporter: but these days, some robotic engineers in japan are trying to make their creations look more and more like us. now, let me show you what this android can do. hello. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. my name is estella. >> reporter: wow. you have beautiful skin, estella. >> oh, thank you. i'm madxe out of special silic.
this makes me skin feel extra soft. >> reporter: oh, well, we all have our beauty secrets, don't we? don't forget to wear sunscreen if you go outside, okay? thank you. now, let me show you how estella communicates. she is controlled here from this booth. you see, the operator sitting inside. when she moves or talks, the android is designed to repeat the same actions but this is not the only reason why she looks so human. the most important aspect of making a lifelike android is to enable the robot to always move. even when humans sit still, their facial muscles are moving. the new android has ten facial parts to constantly make expressions that appear more natural. that's why when the operator
pushes the happy button, the android makes a happy face. if the cry button is pushed, she looks really sad. inventor, hiroshi seguro says he will fashion them even more humanlike in the future. >> we are going to see more human o humanoids than androids. we are going to walk together. we may feel it is hard on the mind from the android. >> reporter: so, someday, we may all be able to have a robot that looks like us. they could go to school or work for us or we could send them home for the holidays if we wanted to avoid any awkward family gatherings. for now, that's all years away. so this is really miki yamamoto
reporting for nhk world, from tokyo. managers at japanese beverage giant century holdings are breaking with decades of tradition in a bid to expand their business globally. they have decided to go outside the company's founding family and appoint a new president with international experience. suntory executives will appoint chairman of the convenience store chain 55-year-old naiinami. he spearheaded the expansion of the chain in japan, thailand, china as well as other markets. >> translator: i think suntory's corporate spirit of go for it is a source of innovation. i will use my experiences at lawson and come out with many fresh ideas. i hope to develop our business globally together with all the people at suntory. >> translator: mr. naiinami's international experience and
connections make him a good fit to lead suntory's global push. >> saji said he will remain with the company as chairman. the selection will be finalized at a special board meeting in july, and niinami will become president as early as october. suntory officials are keen to use his expertise to increase global sales in spirits made by u.s. whiskey maker beam. suntory acquired that company in may. a major japanese trading house is moving to buy a water firm in portugal. they are trying to strengthen their operations in the promising line. sources say they are teaming up with the innovation network corporation to take over ags for about $100 million. the trading firm and the public/private firm are expected to equally share the cost. ags is the largest private company in the water and sewage
business in portugal and runs a water supply firm in brazil. mantubni is providing services in china and it will help it make full inroads into the water business in europe. the business is expected to expand globally as demand for drinking and industrial water picks up in emerging markets. in europe, some fiscally strained companies are planning privatize the services. severe storms rolled through tokyo tuesday. our meteorologist, jonathan oh, has the details and the forecast. jonathan? >> hello. the rainy season is being coupled with some strong thunderstorms rolling through japan, because we have a high pressure system bringing in very cold air aloft. with the daytime heating, we are seeing these storms pillowing up. the satellite perspectives showing us wide clouds over the
condokoshan area. hail falling from the sky 2-3 millimeters in diameter. we are talking about up to 10 centimeters of accumulation in some parts of tokyo. because of the heavy rain, the hail is actually being carried down streets and roads in parts of the city. so definitely a big combination between the hail and the heavy rains over the area. and, on top of that, the hail was causing damage on roofs and also farming communities were negatively affected by the weather on tuesday. it looks like this is going to be of some concern going into our wednesday. you can see on the forecast where the con toe koesh yan region is going to continue to see precipitation. the kohler air loft will continue to remain in place. we are going to see those daytime thunderstorms billowing upcoming up over the next couple of days. meanwhile, we look down toward the western islands of japan into okinawa.
we are seeing the rain a big part of the forecast. a stationary front along with a low pressure system continuing to feed that moisture in the area. flooding and landslide concerns continue as we go into wednesday. the front responsible for the rain is slowly moving toward the north in china. it looks like it will spread northward into places like beijing, going throughout the next few days. that doesn't mean that hong kong and southern china will be out of the woods. more rain is expected as we go throughout the next couple of days. if you are traveling to shanghai, taipei and manila, also to hong kong, you will need your umbrella with temperatures in the mid-20's to 30s. tokyo, high of 26 degrees. we are also seeing active weather enter europe. we have a few low pressure system to talk about. one located ooeeast of the scandanavian peninsula. we also have a low pressure system over spain that continues to remain over the iberian peninsula. that will bring more rain into
the peer annies. another low will be tapping into the warm moist air that's going to bring the possibility of some severe weather for the bull can pen insi balkan peninsula. big problem there. it looks like some concern for wednesday. 19, berlin, 16, stockholm. we now take a look at the americas. we do have a system crossing the eastern half of the country. we are looking out for the low pressure system moving toward the north and east of the united states. responsibility for some severe weather. we are looking out for the possibly of seeing some heavy rain and also possibly some thunderstorms with this system for the eastern half of the u.s. and also southeastern portions of canada. let's wrap things up with a quick look at the forecast in brazil as the world cup continues. tuesday's forecast, a couple of pictures of the northeastern portion of brazil will be wet with highs of 30 degrees. a little warmer down toward the south but dryer as well. hope you have a good day